PART 1: DYING WITHOUT A WILL – How will your community property be distributed?

Community property consists of the property, other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during marriage.  Community property, whether real or personal, is distributed in this following manner:

1. If the decedent is survived by a spouse and children (or descendants of deceased children):

• If all surviving children and descendants of the deceased spouse are also children or descendants of the surviving spouse, all of the community property passes to the surviving spouse.

• If any surviving child or descendant of the deceased spouse is not also a child or descendant of the surviving spouse, the deceased spouse’s one-half of the community property passes to his or her children (and the descendants of any deceased child), and the surviving spouse retains the one-half of the community property he or she owned prior to the other spouse’s death. However, the surviving spouse has the right under Texas law to use and occupy the homestead during his or her life and may have the right to use or own certain items of personal property that are exempt from creditors’ claims.

2. If the decedent is survived by a spouse but not by any children or descendants, all of the community property passes to the surviving spouse.

3. If the decedent is not survived by a spouse, all property is separate property because the community estate terminates at the death of the first spouse.

MY NEXT BLOG WILL BE ABOUT THE DISTRIBUTION OF SEPARATE PROPERTY. . .

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